If I started reading romance because of Julia Quinn
, it was Loretta Chase who cemented it for me. It was right after reading Lord of Scoundrels
that I was able to hold my head high and say “Yes, I read romance novels and I am proud of it”. Lord of Scoundrels
is not only my favorite romance novel but it also managed to smuggle itself into a very high position into my top 10 favorite books of all time, alongside the likes of Lord of the Rings
and The Sandman
. Lord of Scoundrels
is THAT good. It has, in spades, what I have come to call the “loretachaseness”
factor: a very distinctive style recognizable anywhere with its alternating third person narrative (usually of the same scene), detailed historical research, a genius for entertainingly clever dialogue, a knack for creating amusing scenes , strong heroines and drool worthy heroes.
But even though Lord of Scoundrels is my favorite , there is another book by Loretta Chase that has very recently, captured a piece of my heart: The Lion’s Daughter.
It is the story of two amazing characters – a rake that has nearly destroyed his own life with his debauchery and a young woman who needs to avenge her father’s supposed death. It is set in Albania in the 19th century and the historical background is superb. Not to mention one of the best Villains in the world of romance – one who has turned into a hero in another fantastic book, Captives of the Night.
I love her other books (special mention to Mr Impossible) but these two hold a special place in my heart and on my bookshelf. These are, therefore, my two favorite Loretta Chase books.
When I was organizing this event I thought to myself , “Hummm, wouldn’t it be nice if we invited other known reviewers and bloggers around romanceland to talk about their favorite Loretta Chase book as well? ” And so we did. I started with Thea, my blog partner and she says:
“When Ana first started getting into romances, she began to PM me about such and such new author she discovered, some hero and/or heroine, etc. But after she read Lord of Scoundrels, my inbox blew up! Thus, I was persuaded to try out this Loretta Chase character and see what all the fuss was about…and I was promptly blown away. My favorite fairy tale is and always will be Beauty and the Beast, and Loretta’s take on the classic with Dain and Jess is incredible. I loved her fearlessness in pursuing an “ugly” hero, her ballsy heroine (how many romance novel heroines actually shoot the hero?), her attention to historical and artistic detail–and all the while building a tantalizing romance.”
And now I give the floor to our awesome guests to answer: “What is your favorite Loretta Chase book”?
Carolyn Jean – The Trillionth Page
My favorite Loretta Chase book: Lord of Scoundrels!
I’m brand new to historicals; I read one or two only this past year and realized, hey, I love these! Once I realized this (and aren’t you sort of jealous? Because look at the feast I have before me, all these amazing books unread!) I thought, hell, I’m going start with the best historical ever. I’d been hearing about the fabulous Lord of Scoundrels here and there, from Lisabea and then others. So I bought it, husband dutifully made fun of the title, and I went to.
Wow! Reading Lord of Scoundrels, I had this experience I haven’t had with a book before or since – the experience of literally grinning as I read.
It all started in that pawn shop where Dain and Jess are both interested in the icon. And then it continued…the saucy and subtle removal of the glove, the kiss in the storm, the shooting, the talk of lingerie in the carriage, post-wedding romance and on and on.
The thing about this book is that it doesn’t rely on withholding, or misunderstanding. The characters do big things, break boundaries and let the chips fall where they may.
And as characters, they don’t merely complete each other; they wrestle the humanity and goodness and romance right out of each other. Theirs is a bold love that takes risks. And their HEA feels real as rain.
Holly – The Book Binge
Lord of Scoundrels
, naturally. I can’t express what an amazing book this is. The characters are well drawn, the banter witty. There’s more depth in the story and character than you first realize, and the two main characters are so much more than you expect them to be.The heroine is what made this book. Though the story was fun, the hero wonderful, the dialogue witty, none of that would have mattered had the heroine not been what she was. The romance world needs more Jessica Trents.
Jane – Dear Author
One of my favorite romance books of all time is Loretta Chase’s Lord of Scoundrels. I think, in part, because of how different Jessica Trent was from so many other heroines in romance novels. She was pragmatic, aware of her own sensuality, bold, and proactive.
With her most recent release, Your Scandalous Ways, Chase introduces another iconic heroine in the form of Francesca, a woman for whom life could have so easily ended in disease and death but for her own determination and indomitable will. Chase writes romances about what makes women great.
Katie(babs) – Ramblings on Romance
Loretta Chase brings such a wonderful voice to the historical romance genre. Without her books and amazing stories, the romance world would be a very dull place. One such book I have adored by Loretta is Captives of the Night. I love how Loretta took a former unscrupulous villain in one of her past books and reformed him into a very worthy hero. The Comte d’ Esmond is so very seductive and angsty, the perfect male character that most readers love. The way he falls for his heroine, Lelia keeps you hooked to the story. Loretta does not write fluff, but mature, intelligent stories with incredible men and women who deserve each other. Captives of the Night is a luscious romance that is written by a master of romance and storytelling overall.
Kristie – Ramblings on Romance
I was excited when Ana contacted me to offer up my thoughts on Loretta Chase and promptly emailed her back and said I’m in!
At the risk of giving Ms. Chase a superiority complex, I think she is one of the best historical authors out there – bar none. I’ve been reading her books a lot longer than many other reader bloggers and I still remember the hiatus she took after The Last Hellion. This was in the days before author websites or looking books up on the net. We had to do things the old fashioned way – going into bookstores and checking the shelves. Month after month, I’d cross my fingers for the next Loretta Chase release, but alas, a few years went by before I was rewarded.
Ana asked us to talk about a Loretta Chase book we enjoyed. I think probably most who will be participating will pick Lord of Scoundrels, so I decided on another one. But I can’t not mention LOS as we fondly call it. This was the first Chase book I read and I was blown away. Many years later I’m still blown away by it and it’s one of my top reread/comfort books. The writing is exquisite. Jessica is a fabulous heroine, well able to stand up to the giant, growly, lashing out inappropriately due to his own insecurities Dain, This book is funny, charming, heartwarming and a wonderful comfort read when all else fails.
But as I said, probably many people will be talking this book up so the one I chose to focus on is another one of her older books, Captives of the Night.
Lord of Scoundrels was the first Loretta Chase book I read and I think I read it not long after it came out. I was entranced and wanted to read any other books I could find by her and began searching out Used Books Stores. It took me quite a while, but I finally found an old ratty copy of Captives of the Night. The cover was all bent and the pages were loose and normally I wouldn’t have bought a book in such rotten condition, but this had been the only one I’d been able to find so I simply had to pick it up. While it didn’t pack quite the punch that LOS did, still I was enthralled with this one.
The Comte d’Esmond is rather a mysterious fellow who works for the crown. He plans on helping Leila Beaumont an artist who is under suspicion of murdering her (I know this is a modern term – but it applies) rat bastard of a husband. He’s not doing it to help her, but to uncover secrets that her late husband held over high ranking people. But he is very attracted to her and she to him, though she has every reason not to trust men, what with the rat bastard of a husband she had. But it doesn’t take too long for D’esmond to become totally besotted by Leila – in his own mysterious ways that is.
This book kept you guessing right up until the end and since I read this one before The Lion’s Daughter – I read these entirely backwards the first time I read them. Of course then I read them all over again in the proper order the second time.
D’esmond was a very intriguing character, even without knowing who he really was. I found him most mysterious and delicious.Leila, though battered by life and by men, is a successful artist and a great character herself. One of the things I really appreciate about Ms. Chase’s heroines is their strength. I last read this one about two years ago. But now that I have the nice pristine reissue, I think it’s time I read it again.
For those who read and loved Lord of Scoundrels – and I think there are MANY, don’t miss this one either!
Lisabea – Nose in a Book
Lord of Scoundrels: At any point LOS could have disappointed the hell out of me by going down the typical path of the romance book into misery and hand wringing, inaction and blame and the ever popular BIG misunderstanding. I expected it. Instead, each time, Jessica makes a decision to be smart. She chooses not to accept humiliation for herself OR for Dain. She chooses not to lie to him, not to be lied to, not to allow him to ruin what they have and, glory alleluia , she chooses to let Dain be the best husband and father that he can be. She manages him, and while at first he hates it, he realizes this is actually a great thing and then, he loves it, he grows up, he heals and they get a Happily Ever After that is believable.
Rosario – Rosario’s Reading Journal
My favorite Loretta Chase is also my favorite romance of all times: Lord of Scoundrels
. It’s so much a favorite of mine that it was the only book I brought with me when I moved to the UK. It’s just… perfect. There’s not one word I would change, not one scene I don’t adore. I love Jessica’s intelligence and the clear-sighted way in which she sees exactly who Dain is and loves him all the more for it. I love Dain’s vulnerability, his utter and complete need for Jessica and his bemusement at how this goddess of a woman actually wants him. I love their relationship, full of banter but losing none of the heart-wrenching emotion for it. And most of all, I love Ms. Chase’s witty, charming voice, which infuses every page with wry humor.
Sarai- Thoughts of an Aspiring Writer
Loretta Chase brought back the word romance for me. Her characters are deeply flawed and yet strangely beautiful. They define the word chemistry. Each of her characters met on equal footing which made the romance all the more beautiful. My favorite story is Lord of Scoundrels. I loved this story and how each of the characters needed to feel loved. And yet when they did feel love beginning they were shy and scared of losing it. It really struck a cord. Because of this book I rushed right out, after the happy *sigh* at the end, and bought every book I could by Ms. Chase. She is definitely one of my MUST BUY authors. Thank you Ms. Chase for reminding me why I read this genre!
CJ, Holly, Jane, Katie, Kristie, Lisabea, Rosario and Sarai, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us.
And what about YOU, what is your favorite Loretta Chase book?
And our event continues tomorrow with an exclusive interview with Loretta Chase and a giveaway of THREE copies of Your Scandalous Ways.